I have done it but don't recommend it as a every day occurrence. I usually will use my cyclocross bike if I know I am going to be riding on a trail with crushed limestone for any length of time. Especially for the reasons already stated
I rode my road bike in Vermont one summer for a bike tour and many of the back roads were crushed limestone. Going down hill in the rain was a very "iffy" experience involving lots of slipping. My tire tracks sometimes resembled that of spawning salmon.! If I had a choice, since I didn't... that was the bike I took with me, broader tires/wheels, etc. would have done much better. I didn't flat though, although my husband did.
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I ride alot of crappy roads here in New Hampshire including gravel. No trouble so far with regular old tires (did I just jinx myself?). Surely harder on your gear though. Maybe get some 700X25 tires in a tough model....Conti Gatorskins, maybe?
Like Bill, you can have that crushed limestone. I hate it for several reasons, #1 its really dirty and it will destroy your drive system if you don't clean it every time, just price out a Dura Ace Cassette, Chain, and Chain Rings. #2 its not as safe no matter how packed it is. Rain, a vehicle track, can cause issues if you have to react. #3 I can find alternatives.
If I had no choice, I would get a mountain bike with a tire I like and go anywhere on or off road.
I don't have to make that choice, I'm a road rider.
I've done okay with crushed limestone on occasion, but not a steady basis. But then my bike & tires are heavier, wider than your typical road bike as it's a cyclocross bike (not that I do any cyclocross riding!), the Specialized Tricross Double. Our club sometimes does crushed limestone trails in PA...but they do tend to be fairly well packed, not too loose.
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The ones I have ridden are almost as hard as pavement if they are dry, but if there is just a bit of moisture they can become as soft as sand. I have a mountain bike with conniption tires that are great on the trails.
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Any ride on crushed limestone (gravel) will be nothing short of an excursion into extreme, bone-rattling pain, if you ride on standard road tires. I don't know what you inflate your tires to, but I put mine at about 110 psi. I did have the occasion to have to simply turn around on a small graveled area, once - talk about a teeth-rattling-ride! And that was just a simple 20' circle.
Baron is right, look for paved areas ONLY if you ride with road tires. Otherwise, see about replacing your rims with something wider, more tread and less air pressure (about 60 psi or so) if your frame will accommodate.
My beloved bike Esmerelda and I are desperately awaiting weather warm enough for this ex-desert cyclist to even consider riding in, and I'm spending it trying to find some good local paths here in Lincoln. Many of them are surfaced with crushed limestone. Does anyone know if this mixes well with my standard-issue road bike tires?
Thanks for any input!
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